Real magic

This piece – from Ynet – is doing double duty: it’s a positive Israeli news story, and it’s about games. How cool is that?

Israeli teen is world champion of trading card game

Shahar Shenhar, 19, beats 15 of the world’s best ‘Magic: The Gathering’ players. His father told Ynet Tuesday family was proud to fly Israeli flag

Shahar Shenhar, 19, from Mevaseret Zion is the 2013 world champion of a trading card game “Magic: The Gathering.” The win earned him not only the title, but also $40,000.

Shenhar, captain of the Israeli team, was the youngest of the competitors in the Amsterdam finals and has managed to overcome the American player.

“In the finals he was the underdog but never lost hope,” his father told Ynet in Tuesday. “He’s a very casual player… Shahar is thrilled. It brought us great pride to see the Israeli flag waving.

“When he won, the entire family went on stage with him and we raised the flag in the air.”

The championship lasted five days and ended on Sunday after two tournaments – between 71 teams, including the Israeli team, Shenhar was the captain of which, and between individuals, in which the Israeli player defeated 15 players.

According to the father, Shenhar entered the game at the age of 14, while living in California, and though the family returned to Mevaseret Zion in August 2012, he continued to compete in tournaments around the world.

In case you are interested: yes, I know the game. Yes, I have it. But, as it is constantly updated, I do not have any of the recent versions. And, yes, I’m awful at playing the damn thing. But Magic is an excellent game.